Lap 39/50: Hamilton has moved to twelfth position, behind a train of cars that starts with Russell, and also has Albon, Sainz and Alonso.
Lap 38/50: So Verstappen leads, Leclerc in second, Perez in third, Piastri still needs to pit in fourth, Ocon in fifth, Gasly in sixth, Stroll in seventh, Albon in eighth, Russell in ninth and Sainz completes the top ten .
Lap 37/50: Rhianna watches from the Ferrari bench as Verstappen overtakes Leclerc and takes first place!
The Red Bull garage tells Pérez to stay with Verstappen, trying to do a one-two, but first he will have to get past that Ferrari.
Lap 36/50: Pérez has gone from leading Leclerc to being first behind the Monegasque and now being surpassed by Verstappen! From first to third in an instant.
Lap 35/50: Leclerc has taken the lead again! Apparently Perez is caught taking a nap and the Ferrari passes the Red Bull!
Lap 34/50: Pérez leads Leclerc, followed by Verstappen, Piastri, Ocon, Gasly, Albon, Stroll, Russell and Sainz.
Lap 33/50: Verstappen, who has already served his five-second penalty, is now in third place, with a Red Bull one-two.
The two Alpine cars fight for fifth place, with Ocon now overtaking Gasly.
Lap 32/50: Pérez finally surpasses Leclerc! With nothing but a clear track in front of him, the Red Bull man needs to move on.
Versappen gets his pass and moves into fourth position behind Piastri, who is going very fast but will be forced to pit at some point because so far he has only raced with two hard cars.
Lap 31/50: Verstappen is behind Gasly, but the Alpine driver dismisses him for now.
Leclerc is keeping Perez at bay, for now.
Lap 30/50: Despite all the bumps, crashes and knocks that have been seen so far, there has only been one retirement in the race so far: Norris.
Leclerc, Pérez, Piastri, Gasly, Verstappen, Ocon, Albon, Stroll, Russell and Sainz are in the top ten.
Lap 29/50: Piastri climbs to third place with a bold overtake, taking the podium behind Leclerc and Pérez.
Lap 28/50: The safety car has come in and it is Leclerc (one stop) who leads Pérez (2), Gasly (1), Piastri (1), Verstappen (2), Ococ (1), Stroll (2), Albon (1) . Russell (2) and Sainz (2).
Russell received a five-second penalty for his collision with Versappen.
Lap 27/50: There is another safety car to help deal with the debris and Perez immediately dives into the pit lane to take the lead for the second time, re-emerging in second place on hard tyres.
Verstappen is also there for his second stop (the safety car possibly comes out at a very good time for him) and finishes in fifth place. But stewards are investigating his collision with Russell.
All the leaders are on hard tires, even Guanyu in 13th place.
Lap 26/50: Verstappen is asking for an update on his tire and front wing as his team has told him to stay there. Replays show he dove around the inside of Russell and there was decent contact as they prepared to head to the Strip.
Lap 25/50: How far can Pérez go after his early stop? He is still far ahead at the moment, ten seconds ahead of Leclerc, who has overtaken Stroll.
Verstappen passes Russell but there is contact! There appears to be damage to that Red Bull!
Lap 24/50: Sainz, Russell and Verstappen come and go in the battle for fourth, fifth and sixth place.
Sainz loses two positions in a row! Russell moves to fourth place, Verstappen to fifth and the Ferrari is now sixth.
Lap 23/50: Vertappen sits sixth behind Russell as we approach the halfway point.
Pérez maintains his leadership, followed by Stroll, Leclerc and Sainz.
Lap 22/50: Leclerc left the pit lane in third position, just ten seconds behind Pérez but needing to overtake Stroll’s Aston Martin.
Lap 21/50: Leclerc enters the pits and Pérez’s Red Bull takes the lead.
Lap 20/50: Ocon enters the pits and puts on a set of hard tires.
Leclerc is getting some reminders from his pits to take care of his tires, hinting at a one-stop strategy.
Lap 19/50: Leclerc has plenty of space between him and Perez, but the latter already pitted during the safety car period.
Lap 18/50: Leclerc leads, followed by Ocon and Pérez. Ride in fourth place, followed by Sainz, Guanyu and Russell. Verstappen ninth and Gasly complete the top ten.
Most of these cars have not yet entered the pits.
Lap 17/50: Several cars are taking the opportunity to pit, and Hamilton was forced to replace a punctured tire after failing to overtake Piastri, losing several positions before being able to enter pit lane.
Lap 16/50: Leclerc is back in charge of the Las Vegas GP!
He passes Verstappen just before the Dutchman enters the pits, and the Ferrari stays there and extends his lead!
Lap 15/50: Leclerc is gaining ground on Verstappen, the Ferrari just behind the Red Bull on the Las Vegas circuit and showing that his speed in qualifying was no coincidence.
Lap 14/50: It’s a good night for Alpine, Gasly is pushing hard to move up to third, while Ocon has moved up from 16th when the lights went out and is now up to sixth.
Sargeant with his Williams is starting to have problems, he has fallen to ninth position.
Lap 13/50: Sainz is told he needs to cool the car as he passes Ricciardo into 14th place. He has been surrounded by a lot of traffic at the back of the field.
Verstappen still leads Leclerc, but does not distance himself from the Ferrari: there is still less than two seconds of difference.
Lap 12/50: Hamilton begins to make his way through the field, trying to overtake Piastri for eighth position while Magnussen drops to tenth, overtaken on the outside.
Pérez surpasses Hulkenberg for twelfth place.
Lap 11/50: The cars that have already been forced to pit are fighting their own little battle towards the back of the field, with Sainz overtaking Alonso and moving into 16th place.
Lap 10/50: An email! Hugh with his thoughts on Verstappen:
“Classic Verstappen movement. Go too fast into the corner to be able to pass and then run the other car off the track because you obviously can’t make the corner. Then say: “I was ahead!”
“No, Max, you are not ahead if your top speed is too much to reach the corner. You’re simply saying, “Get out of my way so I can go off the road so I don’t take the turn or get into an accident.” “Every driver knows what they are doing and it is not difficult to drive, it is cheating.”
Lap 9/50: Verstappen warns that he has to serve a five-second penalty. Already two seconds ahead, he says hello to them as he sets another fastest lap.
Piastri is now eighth… no, Magnussen has taken him back.
Lap 8/50: At the front, Verstappen sets a new fastest time of the race so far with 1:40:142.
Lap 7/50: Verstappen still leads and will not have to give up the position, but word is that he will receive a five-second penalty the next time he pits. He is followed by Leclerc, Russell, Gasly, Albon and Sargeant.
Piastri has done very well to move up to tenth place from his initial start of 18th, into the points.
After a couple of safety car laps, the drivers are working very hard to try to get their tires up to temperature.
Lap 6/50: The safety car is back and we are back racing in Las Vegas.
Verstappen’s team is leaving him now that the stewards are not going to force him to give up the place… I think? They also said they will leave it to him.
The coverage suggests he should return it, but one doesn’t imagine he’ll be in a rush to do so.